Thursday, May 13, 2010

Now The Gloves Are Off

Following up on yesterday's announcement that all federal permits have been granted for the proposed mega-yacht marina for Victoria's Inner Harbour, today the Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO Bruce Carter warned the city in a statement that if the city blocked the marina by changing the zoning regulations, the city could be on the hook for $23,000,000.
His statement reads in part, “Council could choose to reduce the zoning and effectively deny the property owner from exercising established property rights. But such decisions have financial consequences that do not appear to have been taken into account.”
The interesting note here of course is that the developer is not the property owner of the water lots that the marina would sit in -- the owner would be the province. You and me, in other words. This is why the developer needs a lease approval from the government. How is the city on the hook to the developer if he is not the property owner?
Does the City not have the right to say about any project that notwithstanding that it may meet current zoning, the project is not the right project for the specific area and turn it down? What's the point if having a city council if it actually has no power to make land-use decisions?
Or is the CoC saying that if any proposal for the use of public lands is rejected, the rejectee has the right to sue? Isn't the province/city supposed to be the steward of our lands? Just because something CAN be done doesn't mean it SHOULD be done...
But as usual the voices of the people continue to be lost amid the shrill siren call of dollar bills and the rubbing of greedy hands.

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